March 5

GOD’S SALVATION

There are many decisions that we will make over a lifetime, but none more important than our eternal destiny.  We put more time and energy into decisions like what school we will go to, what kind of car we will buy or even who will we marry than we do where we will spend eternity.

Without investigating all the things that influence our understanding of eternal salvation, we can make a vital decision based upon false assumptions.  We can convince ourselves we have something, only to discover too late that it was a counterfeit.

2 Cor 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you —unless indeed you fail the test?”  We cannot test ourselves by our feelings or by someone else’s opinions.  The test is found in God’s word!  It is His salvation that He offers and it is His word that defines the fullness of that salvation; let’s look to His word for the greatest gift ever given to man.  God’s salvation!

For anyone to fully understand the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ, they must have sincerely faced the truths that lie beneath the surface of that salvation.  These truths are sin, death, the cross, God’s grace, being born again and the reality of eternal life.

SIN

Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Anyone who has any conscience left at all will acknowledge that they have sinned a few times and if they are completely honest they will say they have a laundry list of sins, but it’s the falling short of the glory of God we are not grasping.  Our human nature will justify our sins by acknowledging we are doing the best that we can or we compare ourselves with those who have sinned a great deal more than we have.  Sin’s comparison is not by how well I’m doing or how worse off someone else may be, but we have fallen short of the glory of God.  The glory of God is His Son Jesus Christ.  God has one standard of measurement when it comes to evaluating our sin; the sinless perfection of Jesus Christ.  Our self-justification just went out the window!  So where does that leave us?

Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  We will talk about the free gift in just a little bit, but first we must deal with the price for our sins.  The wages (payment) for our sin is death.  First, notice that God’s word doesn’t say sins, but sin.  For it only takes one sin to separate us from God.  God doesn’t put our sin in categories as man does, for sin is sin.  The earthly consequences for our sin may be costly, but the eternal price for any sin is death (we’ll define death also).  Adam and Eve only had one thing in the garden that they were told not to do and that one sin of unbelief (not believing what God had said) caused them to be cast out of the garden.

Let’s look into God’s word to see how sin works within us.  Rom 7:7-9 …I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. 9 And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died;  I would not have known sin if it were not for the Law.  If there are no laws the guilt and shame of breaking the law would no longer exist.  We see in our society today a great push to redefine right and wrong, not in order to make things more equal, but to rid ourselves of the guilt of sin.

Adam and Eve blamed each other, satan and even God Himself for their sin.  We were never created to live with guilt and we are incapable of doing so, so our last ditch effort is to redefine the law in order to live as guilt free as possible.  But, like the law of gravity; we can redefine it or say it doesn’t exist, yet its law still has its effect on our lives.  God’s law for our lives still has a price to be paid whether we believe it or try to redefine it; it’s death!

DEATH

Gen 2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”  Adam and Eve ate from the tree that they were told not to eat from, but they didn’t die physically, but spiritually.  When God created them He breathed into them the breath of life (breathed into them spiritual life).  The day they sinned they died spiritually.  The spiritual life which was given to them was given in order that they may have a personal relationship with the God who created them, but was now taken away because of their sin.  By our human nature we are born into this sin separated life.  Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned — Death is the separation we experience from God as the result of our sinful natures.  Death is man living independently from God.  Death is seen by our self-serving, self-justifying, anxious and fearful lives.  Eph 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.  Before a person experiences salvation they are separated from Christ, excluded from the wealth of blessings God promises His children and have no hope as they live in this world without God.  They are dead to God!

CROSS

The cross is about redemption!  The word redeemed means to buy back.  The cross is about God’s love and grace paying the price for the sins we are unable to pay for.  1 Peter 1:18-19 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. The sacrifice that Jesus gave on the cross by shedding His blood was the price that God required for our sins.  Remember, the wages of sin is death, so God demonstrates His love for us by sacrificing His only son to pay the wage for us.  Some today say this does not make sense and is foolishness to them; 1 Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. It is foolish for anyone to reject God’s expression of love and mercy to perish in their sins for all eternity!  The cross is the power of God for those who receive the gift of His salvation.

The cross reconciles our debt!  Those living in debt have no peace, but live enslaved to the debt they owe.  Col 1:19-22 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. 21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach — You were reconciled back into a right relationship with the God who created you; holy, blameless and beyond disgrace!  The blood of Christ on the cross balanced the books of your indebtedness to sin and its payment of death, so that you could stand before God free from your debt.  Paid in full is stamped on your account!

GRACE

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast. Grace is the unmerited favor given to us by God.  We do not deserve His mercy through the sacrifice of His son, but He offers this grace as a free gift of His love.  Our redemption is not of ourselves.  We cannot work for it or earn it any way.  Grace is a gift to be received by faith in the complete work on the cross.

God’s grace becomes not only as the initial gift that brings salvation, but it should become what defines us as we walk in the new life we have been given.  Rom 5:1-2 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  This grace that we have received for salvation is only the introduction to the life of grace we are called to live.  1 Cor 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.  Grace defines us and enables to live this new life through His salvation.

BORN AGAIN

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”  Because we were dead in our sins, there must be a new life given to us and this life is one in which we are born again spiritually.  Rom 6:10-11 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Being born again means that we are no longer dead in our sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  We are no longer to live for ourselves, but for the God who saved us and lives within us through His Spirit which He placed in us.  Remember in the garden when God breathed into them the breath of life (breathed His Spirit into them), but then they died because of sin?  God causes us to be born again, restoring to us the life that we lost because of sin.  Rom 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

ETERNAL LIFE

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  We see it all here!  God loved you and me so much that He gave up His Son on the cross in order to redeem us from our sins, that we would not have to perish.  And by His grace He offers us our salvation resulting in eternal life.

John 5:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”  We do not come before Him in judgment, for we have passed out of death into life, but eternal life is so much more than that!  John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.”  Eternal life is knowing the Father and His Son Jesus Christ!  Not just knowing about Him, but knowing Him by an every day, and every moment experience.  It is knowing His love personally as He leads you in the new life He has created for you.  We are not just talking about when you get to heaven, but right now while you are still here on earth.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.”  Jesus did not die in order that you might have life in heaven one day, but that you might know the abundance of life in Him every day.  For He says to us that; “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6)

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW THAT YOUR SAVED?

Let me share with you the humbled heart that He is looking for that might receive this salvation by grace.

BELIEVE: You must believe that Jesus is God’s son who came to die on the cross for your sins and rose again from the dead that you might have life.

CONFESS:  To confess means to see yourself and your sin as God sees it and agree that you have nothing to offer for the payment for your sins.  You agree that you are hopeless without God’s salvation.  You confess Jesus as Lord!  He is now in charge of your life.  He is your life!

REPENT: Repent means a change of mind that brings about a change of action.  Another words, you were walking away from God living your own life and now you have turned the opposite direction to follow after Him.  A sincere belief and confession will bring about a genuine repentance.

FOLLOW:  The One who you have believed in and surrendered your life to, you will follow after and obey.

Rom 10:8-10 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” —  that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, 9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; 10 for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

In brokenness and surrender will you cry out to the Lord and be saved?

If you have any questions, please contact us by leaving your comments that we might share with you God’s salvation and plan for your life!

God’s richest blessings

Bro. Jeff 

 

 

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